Half Moon Bay mass shooting live updates: Workplace violence believed to be motive
Written by ABC Audio ALL RIGHTS RESERVED on January 24, 2023
(HALF MOON BAY, Calif.) — Seven people were killed on Monday in a mass shooting at two locations in Half Moon Bay, California, authorities said.
One person was also taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office.
The suspect, 67-year-old Chunli Zhao, is in custody. Workplace violence is believed to be the motive, authorities said.
This is the state’s second mass shooting in three days.
Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:
Jan 24, 12:41 PM EST
Workplace violence believed to be motive
Workplace violence is believed to be the motive for a gunman who opened fire at two Northern California farms on Monday, killing seven and injuring one, authorities said.
All victims — seven men and one woman — were adults, authorities said. The victims were of Asian and Hispanic descent, authorities said.
The suspect’s semi-automatic handgun was legally purchased, authorities said.
The suspect, 67-year-old Chunli Zhao, worked at one of the shooting locations, Mountain Mushroom Farm, but it’s unclear what connection he may have had with the victims beyond being co-workers, authorities said.
Zhao was not known to police, according to authorities.
Zhao is expected to be arraigned on Wednesday. Prosecutors will review the case and decide on charges, officials said.
The coroner’s office is working to notify the victims’ next of kin, but authorities said it’s difficult to reach families because some victims are migrants.
-ABC News’ Alex Stone
Jan 24, 8:15 AM EST
Biden calls for federal assault weapons ban after California mass shootings
President Joe Biden released a statement on Tuesday in the wake of the deadly mass shootings in Half Moon Bay and Monterey Park, California.
“Jill and I are praying for those killed and injured in the latest tragic shooting in Half Moon Bay, California,” Biden said. “For the second time in recent days, California communities are mourning the loss of loved ones in a senseless act of gun violence.”
“Following a briefing from my homeland security team, I have directed my administration to ensure local authorities and the broader Half Moon Bay community have the full support of the federal government in the wake of this heinous attack,” the president added.
On Monday, two days after another deadly mass shooting in Monterey Park, Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Chris Murphy reintroduced a federal ban on assault weapons as well as legislation that would raise the minimum purchase age to 21. In his statement on Tuesday, Biden said that while “we await further details on these shootings, we know the scourge of gun violence across America requires stronger action.”
“I once again urge both chambers of Congress to act quickly and deliver this Assault Weapons Ban to my desk, and take action to keep American communities, schools, workplaces, and homes safe,” the president said.
Jan 24, 2:04 AM EST
Farm principal says alleged gunman unfamiliar
Aaron Tung, principal at Concord Farms, one of the locations where the shooting took place, said the company wanted to thank the community for the “outpouring of thoughts and support.”
“We thank law enforcement for their swift response and actions. Concord Farms is a family owned and operated mushroom farm at this location for 37 years,” he said in a statement.
Tung added, “With no past knowledge with this gunman or his motives, we are shook and very eager to gain more information from the authorities and their investigations. Our hearts are with the victims, their families and the Chinese American community—from Half Moon Bay to Monterey Park.”
Jan 23, 11:01 PM EST
Semi-automatic handgun found in suspect’s car: Sheriff
San Mateo County Sheriff Christina Corpus said a semi-automatic handgun was found in the suspect’s car.
The suspect, 67-year-old Chunli Zhao, is cooperating and being interviewed, the sheriff said.
Zhao is believed to have acted alone, Corpus said.
Jan 23, 10:53 PM EST
‘Our hearts are broken’: San Mateo County official
The gun violence in the U.S. is at “completely unacceptable levels,” and it “really hit home tonight,” San Mateo County Board of Supervisors President Dave Pine said Monday. “Our hearts are broken.”
“But in the end, there are simply too many guns in this country,” Pine said. “And there has to be a change. This is not an acceptable way for modern society to live its conduct its affairs.”
Jan 23, 10:37 PM EST
Shooting took place at two separate nurseries, victims thought to be workers: Sheriff
San Mateo County Sheriff Christina Corpus said the department was dispatched at 2:22 p.m. local time with reports of a shooting in unincorporated San Mateo County with multiple victims.
At the first location, four people were found dead with gunshot wounds and a fifth person was taken to the hospital and is in critical condition, Corpus said during a press briefing Monday.
Shortly afterward, three additional victims were found dead at a separate location about a mile away, the sheriff said.
Both locations are nurseries, large rural properties, and some people live on site; children witnessed the shooting, Corpus said. The victims are thought to be workers.
The suspect is thought to be a farm worker, Corpus said.
The motive and the relationship between the victims and the suspect are unknown at this time. The suspect is cooperating and being interviewed, Corpus said.
Jan 23, 10:11 PM EST
San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office identifies suspect
The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office has identified the suspect as 67-year-old Chunli Zhao, a Half Moon Bay resident.
The sheriff’s office located his vehicle at 4:40 p.m. local time in the parking lot of the Sheriff’s Office Half Moon Bay Police Substation, the department said in a press release.
Zhao was taken into custody without incident, the sheriff’s office said, adding that he is believed to have acted alone.
A weapon was found in his vehicle, authorities said.
Jan 23, 9:35 PM EST
Biden has been briefed on San Mateo County shooting, White House says
President Joe Biden has been briefed on the mass shooting in San Mateo County, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre tweeted Monday night.
“He has asked federal law enforcement to provide any necessary assistance to the local authorities. As more details become available, the President will be updated,” she wrote.
-ABC News’ Molly Nagle
Jan 23, 9:35 PM EST
Sheriff’s office responded to shooting incident ‘with multiple victims’
The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office tweeted that it responded to a shooting incident “with multiple victims in the area of HWY 92 and the HMB [Half Moon Bay] City limits,” later adding that a suspect is in custody and there is “no ongoing threat to the community at this time.”
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